Voters at voting booths
Voters at voting booths

Board Moves Forward with Cannabis Business Tax

Author: Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector
Date: Friday, January 19, 2018 2:45 PM

The fate of SLO County cannabis taxes may soon be in the hands of local voters.


On Tuesday, January 9, 2018, the County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to follow the recommendation of the Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector (ACTTC) to move forward with a proposal to seek voter approval for a cannabis business tax.

Recently approved land-use and business license regulations for the cannabis industry in the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County took effect on December 31, 2017

The ACTTC proposed a tax for cannabis businesses operating in the unincorporated areas to help lessen the impact legalized cannabis would have on County government. The proposal includes:

  1. A 4% tax on gross receipts generated by cannabis-related businesses.
  2. 2% increases occurring automatically each year starting in 2020 with a maximum tax rate of 10%. The Board of Supervisors would have the option of temporarily removing the tax rate or even reducing it each year.

“The Board asked us to introduce a tax that would generate enough revenue to deal with any consequences of legalized cannabis. At the same time, we wanted to tax in a way that is fair and isn’t overly burdensome to the industry,” said Jim Erb, the County’s Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector.

A draft proposal is now available online. The ACTTC intends to introduce the final proposal for the cannabis tax measure to the Board of Supervisors on January 23, 2018.

The public will be able to weigh in at a public hearing on February 6, 2018 , at which time the Board will deliberate on the proposal. If the Board approves the proposal at that time, the tax measure will be placed on the June 5, 2018 ballot.

Then, if more than 50% of County voters vote in favor of the tax measure, the tax would take effect on July 1, 2018.

For more information on the proposed Cannabis Business Tax, please contact Justin Cooley at jcooley@co.slo.ca.us.